Bad News for Lindsey Graham in His Senate Race

Cook Political Report just officially called it a 'toss-up'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2020 1:50 PM CDT
SC Senate Race Now a 'Toss-Up'
Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison speaks during the South Carolina Senate debate with Sen. Lindsey Graham at Allen University in Columbia, SC, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020.   (Joshua Boucher/The State via AP)

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham made a plea for donations last month, saying he was being "killed financially" in the tightening race with Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison—but his situation has not improved since. The Cook Political Report has now shifted the race from "lean Republican" to a "toss-up," saying Harrison is a "fundraising behemoth" and perhaps the Democrats' "best recruit," the Hill reports. Jessica Taylor at Cook calls the South Carolina race the most surprising one on the map, noting that earlier this year, it appeared Graham, who has become one of President Trump's most stalwart defenders after strongly criticizing him in 2016, would "cruise to re-election."

Multiple polls have shown Harrison, a 44-year-old former state party chairman, even or within striking distance of Graham, who is seeking a fourth term, CNN reports. Graham says he is confident of victory, but Harrison is continuing to outspend and outraise him. The Democrat said Sunday that he had raised $1.5 million in the hours after Saturday's debate when he had a plexiglass barrier set up between him and Graham. With other Senate races tightening, Cook gives Democrats a slightly better than 50/50 chance of retaking the chamber. "If this becomes a wave or a tsunami election, you have a lot of these states that get swept up in this," Taylor says, per the Wall Street Journal. (Read more South Carolina stories.)

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